Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
It's been a good holiday. RO got to see his son again-- first time in 13 years. He is very happy. I'm sure it's much for him to process as well.
We spent much of the day at RO's sister. Ate too much. Drank too much. Played party games. Argued about party game rules. But, we had much fun in the process.
LS & DR spent the day with us. They had no holiday plans.
The old people in my life are getting old. DR is 82. My neighbor M, is also in her mid eighties. Both of them are starting to forget things. Is unfortunate to see women who two years ago were so bright and active slowly slip into dementia.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Todate I've got by by being a good role-model and coaching them around that.
Now, some of my employees are *very* smart, and *very* hard working. I can't be a good role model for them. With a little more experience they will easily surpase my skills. Then where do I fit in?
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Earin works near the store and stopped in. When she saw me she sat down next to me and said she wanted to make amends and pay me back-- in the new year.
Thanksgiving was nice. We had dinner with family.
Today is black Friday . Sales at the store are stong. I won't get my hopes up though.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
At my day job we rolled out a new project tracking system. The result, of course, was much complaining.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Mark has had a chest cold for the past week. It's not getting better. At the same time, he's not so sick that he stays in bed.
I've started lifting weights, stretching and exercising. I find that if I regularly do so, then I sleep well.
For RO, sleep is a constant battle. If he takes sleeping pills he still wakes up for a few hours in the middle of the night. If he doesn't take sleeping pills then he tosses and turns all night. He'll finally fall asleep from exhaustion at around six in the morning.
For a long time I've tried to help RO sleep better. But, to little or no success.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The blog is ten years old. Happy birthday blog.
Let's see. What was I doing ten years ago? Hmmm. whining about my love life. Life has changed so much since then.
For me it is kind of fun to spot check entries from years past. I'm sure it's dreadfully boring for everyone else.
October 2005, RO and I were just opening up the store. Man-o-man. We thought we'd be hugely successful way back then.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
They old neighbor commited suicide. He's been fighting cancer for a long time and had a morphene pack to help with the pain. He was using so much morphene that it was no longer effective.
Rather than go in for hospice care, he decided to shoot himself in the head.
My cousin's daugther, who was in a car accident six weeks ago, is still in a coma. Her father is now paralyzed from the waste down.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The weather is wonderful today. It's been bright and sunny. You can tell it's the fall though. Even at lunch the sun was low in the sky. We took a long walk along Lake Washington. I thin I got more sun than I did all summer.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
We are trying to liquidate as much as possible right now so that we don' t have to move much. We still have many X-mass supplies which are difficult to liquidate now, but should go over the holidays.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I have hairs that grow freekishly long from otherwise smooth parts of my body.
You know that area of skin below your eyebrow, but above your eyelid? I have a hair that grows there. It grows inches long. It bumps into my eyeglasses if I don't trim it regularly.
Friday, August 13, 2010
This is a hard descision to make. It will be expensive to move and re-open. The returns are uncertain. Yet, closing down scares RO.
At my day job, the re-org is in effect and I have a new team. I like them.
This team is very different than my last team. On my last team, everyone was in their early 30's, eager to work hard and experienced enough that I didn't have to manage them.
My new team has two 'old' guys-- vetrans who have been doing this for so long that nothing phases them. They are in a bit of a rough spot. By the numbers they are less productive than most other people in my division. But, when you look at what they do you see that they do exactly that which is important, no more, no less.
There is a bitter gay guy on my team. He knows I'm gay as well.
Finally, then there are two young and inexperienced guys. They will do anything to be helpful. That's a blessing and a curse-- it's very easy to randomize them because they would rather be helpful than question me on our prioritizes. I asked one of them an offhand question and he wasn't sure of the answer. A day later he produced a huge report on the subject. He worked over time to do research and ensure I could be fully informed on the issue.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Lately when we see each other, the conversation eventually comes around to their will and specifically, what to do with their home. My parents own a maple sugar bush and make maple syrup there every year. They have a lovely small house by the bush. It would be a shame to sell it.
It will be a struggle to keep it in the family. My parents live in the middle of nowhere. All their kids, my brothers and I, have long since moved away. The type of jobs we have are not to be found near my parents home.
If my parents live another twenty years then perhaps it could be a retirement property for my brothers and I. I could live there part of the year. I think my brothers could too.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Saturday, July 03, 2010
Friday, July 02, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
At work, one of the guys at my level knows he hasn't had a great year. I like this guy and don't want bad things happen to him, so I was hoping to put a good word from him into my boss.
When I started doing so, my boss quickly asked, "Who is more valuable to us, him or you?" I hate that question. It hints that unless I answer carefully, I'll be the one at the bottom of the list.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
No one I know is hurt. I've seen some photos of damaged buildings. Mostly it seems to be an opportunity to call friends and ask "Did you feel the earthquake!"
Monday, June 21, 2010
Afterwards RO & I went to the local bars. RO ran into a man, visiting from Arkansas whose last name was Mathews. It just so happend that RO was wearing a sweat shirt with "Mathews Inc." on it. So, RO swapped his sweat shirt for the guys shirt.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Yesterday and today, we are 'calibrating' our employees-- evaluating all the employees for bonus, raises & promotion. It's very contentious-- one of the managers stormed out of the meeting when the debate around a particular employee didn't go the way he wanted.
I suspect today will be just as combative. Rumor has it that one of the managers has been trying to hide a failure. I work closely with the manager involved so I have to investigate, have an opinion and ultimatly take sides. If I'm not carefull, the manager in question could make it difficult for my employees to get bonus or promotions, so I have to enter this debate with backup.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The weather in Seattle has been unseasonably wet. I know Seattle has a reputation for rain, but May received almost double the average May rain. June is on the same path. June usually gets 1.5 inches of rain. So far June 2010 has had 1.57 inches.
Tuesday evening, Clem & Bates were over for dinner. As usual we had a wonderful time even though we drank too much.
We all agreed that at somepoint we have to live where it's Sunny.
Tommy, how sunny is LA?
Sunday, June 06, 2010
It's the opposite of how my family operates. Everyone who died had a wake, a funeral and a post funeral reception. Death is very social. There is some grieving, but mostly it's a somber get-together.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
RO is spending much time with her and trying to help in his own way. She can't chew food so he has been making her ever more elaborite smoothies with tofu and vitamin pills.
I think something has gone wrong tonight. Usually he spends a couple hours with her before he heads home. Tonight, it's getting late, and he's not returning his text's.
Be strong RO.
Friday, May 28, 2010
That you are a solid rock in a swift stream. ... one needs solid rocks to cling
on, was the water of life rushes by.
Thank you aex, whoever you may be.
Yo won't be moving in with us. He's kept putting off his move on account of finances. RO asked for the key back. I finally found him online-- I didn't spell his last name properly. When you do that, you learn all the details.
The local newspapers used him as an example in an article about improper state oversight of sex offenders. Yo had a license for a job that allowed him to work alone with children. The state didn't revoke the license after Yo was found guilty.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I've known Tommy since 2001. ItsAllGrandLike & John since 2002. I've met most of my local friends since then. I think the one exception is Steven who I've known since 1999.
I still have all my old friends from Canada. But my Seattle friends come and go. Hmmm. I wonder what that says about me.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I had worked all day and was heading home when RO called me "Come to the store" he said "my sister wants to have a drink with you." We argued for a while. I was tired and didn't want to go out for a drink, but he twisted my arm enough, so I headed back to the store.
When I got to the store, lots of people where there. It was a great evening. Too much alcohol was drunk. Other than that, everyone had a great time.
Thanks RO. Love ya babe!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thank you Tommy. I don't know about the big hearted part. I agree that some of our roommates are odd.
I've been thinking about that. As a philosophy, I believe you should choose your acquaintances carefully-- you become like the people you hang around. In practice my friends and acquaintances are chosen more because I like them than for their virtues. A charming fool is easier to befriend than a quiet wise man.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Today we learnt why. Yo is a registered sex offender. When he moves in our address will be published on the state sex offenders web site. He's been hesitent to tell us this.
I've heard Yo's side of the story. I'm trying to double check it online but I can't find him in the registered sex offender databases.
The sex offender database is fascinating. You can pull up maps that show you where the offender lives and where the nearby schools are. It includes pictures, a brief description of the charges and the risk of re-offending.
I didn't realize there were soo many sex offences. Aside from the obvious ones, rape, molestation and child porn, there mysterious ones like "Indecent liberties" and "Sexual Motivation"
I searched for my friends in the database. No dirt came back.
I'm surprised how many sex offenders offended with children. Rape of a child is uncomfortably common and not the 21yo-who-slept-with-a-17yo variety either. The majority of the offenders are white men thirty and older who did something with someone under 16. It's very creapy and depressing.
So what then to do about Yo. I would feel a little more comfortable if I could find him online, but I can't. I searched by first name and last and variations of his first name and nick names and the cities he's lived in. But no Yo. Where are you hiding Yo? What did you really do?
Saturday, May 08, 2010
It is interesting. They like living in an extended family-- everyone from the grand parents through to the nephews and nieces under one roof. Great grandma used to live with them, but passed away last year.
They are also the first to admit there are drawbacks. You have to be good at defending your personal space and time.
If you have kids, there is always some one around to baby sit.
On the other hand, The adults have to do much co-ordination and communication. Otherwise the most lenient among them usurps their intent.
It doesn't work if one kid can only play X-Box from 7:00pm to 8:00pm while another is allowed to play after he finishes his homework.
If you buy an expensive birthday present for a niece, then you have to buy expensive birthday presents for all the nephews and nieces for the next year.
The kids also learn to work the system. If mommy or daddy won't let me have a cookie, then maybe the aunties or the uncles or grandma or grandpa will.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I worry about my brothers finances. They spend money at the drop of a hat. They live a sheltered life so they've never had to save. They live with her family and her family (grand parents, parents, brothers & sisters, nephews and nieces) all live together in one huge house.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
He's known about this for a couple of weeks. About a weekago I noticed that he's been secluding himself and has been extra irritable. I mentioned it to him and he snapped at me, so I left him alone. Yesterday he told me what's troubling him.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Yo is an interesting characters. He's single and as no job. He had a store near our old store, but he had to close that down.
Yo has set things up to work from anywhere. He has a mobile credit card reader and a wireless extender for his laptop si he can find and use free wireless from almost anywhere. He's taking pictures of stuff in our warehouse and posting it on eBay and Craigslist.
Saturday night RO and I went out to see Spring Thaw. RO got very drunk. On the way home he told me that he's been fooling around with a man about once a month. RO said that the man probably wanted to marry him and that he would be happy if he married this guy. RO then went on to point out some of the things that he didn't like about our sex life and what I could do to improve it.
RO sometimes mentioned that I don't often write positive things about him in this blog. He has a point, but this time he's earned it.
I'm not sure how to react to RO. I'm glad that he was open and honest with me. I don't like the direction that our relationship is taking. Maybe I'm too tired to deal with this. The store and my day job are exhausting. I could try and extract some kind of promise from RO to never do this again. Would I believe him?
Sunday RO, Yo and I worked at the warehouse. In the evening we delivered a large cabinent to a customer. I'm very happy that the delivery went well-- many things could have gone wrong-- the cabinet was 9 feet tall and barely able to fit through doors. The customers house had very twisty halls. It took much planning to get the cabinet into the room without damaging or scratching anything.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
But lately I've noticed that I get special treatment without me directly asking for it. Proper requests that are ignored when most people ask, are immediatly answered if I do the same.
One of the guys that reports to me has been trying to take a course for a long time. This course has a long waiting list for it. The guy asked me if I knew how much longer he'd have to wait. He'd emailed the organizers but got no response. I wasn't sure either, so I emailed the same organizers and asked. The organizers immediately respond saying "Oh, since you asked, he can go to the next offering."
I kind of like this.
For the first time, probably in his life, he is getting his own apartment. BIB has always been a roommate. When I first met him, I was a room mate in a large house on Cap Hill. For the past six years he's been the roommate of a couple who lives a few miles from RO and I.
Now he's getting his own apartment. It will be easier for him to have dates over. It will be easier for him to cook for himself.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
As a movie, Forbidden Zone is bad. It succeeds as a musical, or as an act of unrestrained creativity. The music is very good. The screen is full of the bizarre and original. This is what happens when very talented, very creative people get together and make a movie with no budget and no script. As I watched Forbidden Zone, my jaw dropped and I constantly thought "What the Hell!" But, I never wanted to stop looking. It's endlessly inventive.
I finished watching the documentary about the Forbidden Zone. It makes a little more sense now. The Forbidden Zone is a series of musical numbers and performance art pieces. The plot was added afterwards.
RO and I saw the Forbidden Zone through Netflix which recommends movies based on your ratings. We couldn't decide what to rate Forbidden Zone. Should it be either one star, or five? Five stars because it is distinct, original and endlessly watchable. One star because it is a piece of crap. It's like watching an accident that doesn't end. You know that what you are watching isn't good, but you can't look away.
Roger Ebert likes to give great trash two and a half stars. The idea being that great movies come along so rarely that there must be room for great trash. In that spirit RO and I gave Forbidden Zone three stars.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Thursday, April 01, 2010
RO has had a sore throat for a while. About a week ago he learnt that the sore throat was probably caused by an infected molar and that he needed the molar removed.
He made an appointment, but didn't tell me anything, not the cause of the sore throat, not that he was scheduled to have his molar removed.
This morning, while I'm at work, he called me and asked for some extra cash because he's going to the dentist and the dentist bills up front. We will be reimbursed by insurance later. I thought that was weird, but I gave him my credit card number over the phone.
Then, finally, when I talked to him this afternoon, he told me he just had his molar removed! I asked him point blank if he knew last week ago that his molar needed to be removed. He said yes. He said that he didn't tell me because he didn't want me worry about anything or go out of my way to take care of him.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
We still all get along fine, the the honeymoon over living with Matt and Pat is over and the realities of living with roommates has set in.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
And after a dry spell, the store has started having strong days. The last week of February and the first week of march were *very* scary. We had days with no sales. All that changed about mid last week. Whew. RO has been working his ass off to make good things happen. I have to figure out how to reward him with a little relaxation.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Yeah. We are not going that much farther with the dog. My mother mentioned, more than once, that if the dog was at her house, it would be living outside. And Pat dislikes the dog. He's started calling her "The Terrorist" and "Satan's Spawn" He'll say it in a very sweet voice while he's petting her.
Matt may be in a funk, or he may still be getting over tonsillitis. Either way he spends all day alone in his room watching TV. I'm going to try and have a chat with him about his motivation. I'll have to do so very carefully. He is smarter than the average bear. If he detects that I have an agenda, he'll say what I want to hear but he won't follow through.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Matt's little dog occasionally has diarrhea problems.
A couple of weeks ago, Matt & Pat bought a nice new comforter for their bed. The first night they slept with it, the dog slept on top. In the middle of the night Pat rolled over. Then he wolk up, feeling wet. And it smelt. They turned on the light and there was doggie diarrhea all over the comforter. Pat said there was more diarreah than the volume of the dog.
Last weekend Matt noticed that his little dog had diarrhea. Rather than letting the dog roam during the night, he locked it in the bathroom. The dog, not used to being alone, whimpered and barked a lot.
The barking wolk me up, so I went to check on it. I opened the door a crack and the smell hit me. I didn't want to get involved so I closed the door and left.
A while later RO did the same thing. RO said there was shit everywhere. It was like someone finger painted with shit over every square inch of the tile floor.
The next morning whan RO at Pat talked about the dog, Pat said that while the floor may have looked like finger paitings at first, by the morning there was an even coat of shit everywhere.
Matt spent two hours scouring the bathroom.
Monday, February 22, 2010
My Director has never fired anyone. My new boss (who reports to my director) prefers to shuffle problem employees off to the side. My peer managers include a nice new guy who has never been a manager before and a very bright and experienced manager who took the job on the condition that he wouldn't have to immediatly manage out any of his new employeees-- including one who is having performance problems.
That leaves me. I don't enjoy firing people, but I have done so and I can do so. I have to make sure that this doesn't become my job function. I want to run an A-list team, not the team where problem employees go to be managed out.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
We suspected trouble-- in the past people in similar circumstances buy a lot and then return everything the next day. We told them there would be a 15% restocking fee. They were uncomfortable with that, but agreed.
10pm that night they purchased and picked up $8000.00 in furniture and art.
By 10am the next morning they returned $4000.00 of their purchase.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The voice recognition program doesn't recognize her Indian accent so she has switched to a fake Boston accent. It's great fun listening to her. She is getting very good at it.
I'm used to her speaking in refined British-Indian English. When she says something with a sloppy, nasal, Boston accent, everyone within ear shot smiles.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
I heard through the grape vine, that even though my director was very grumpy today, he was slightly less grumpy when he learnt of my choice.
Funny. I just realized that even though this my job and my choice, the feelings that I wrote down first were about my director's indirect approval. I completly skipped my feelings and desires.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
I'm not the only lead that these positions are available to. The longer I wait, the more leads they will make offers to. This creates a game of musical chairs. I don't know who I'm playing against, but with each passing day an offer could be snapped up by someone else. I think I have till Wednesday for two of the jobs. The third could vanish shortly.
Is it respectful that I am taking a week for this? Will someone interpret me not making a snap decision as lake of passion for the offer? I had a chat with one of higher-ups about my career. He is very smart and it did help, but I also felt a like I was under the microscope. At one point he said "I hear you talk more about managmenent than about leadership... let's dig into that."
Thursday, February 04, 2010
First, some explanation. My organization is going through a big re-org. I am a lead-- the lowest level of boss at this company. People report to me. Above leads are managers- leads report to managers. Above the managers are directors.
For a variety of reasons, mostly personality conflicts, my current manager was recently assigned a new lead. This means my manager will have more leads than any other manager. With this new lead, my manager probably doesn't have enough head count to fully staff his leads.
On top of that, some of the other managers are short staffed and looking hard for new leads.
That's how my name came up. I have worked for the product for years and am familiar with much of the the people and technology. They think I'm more likely to succeed in a new position than most of my peers.
My manager made it clear that if I wanted to stay, he would find a way to load balance the work. But that if I found one of the other offers interesting, I should feel free to pursue it and not feel obligated to him.
At least that's what they tell me. I do believe them-- if my director didn't trust me, then I wouldn't have a job.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
First choice, I stay where I am. I will be the most senior and experienced. The business around this area is better understood, though not that glamorous. My two manager don't have that much experience in this area, so I will really have a chance to shine, or fail spectacularly. I'm a little worried that my two managers are not that strong. I won't have the most learn here, but I will have the chance to make a big contribution to a profitable, but boring organization.
Second choice. I move to a very sharp org. I will working with very strong engineers and very smart management. We will work on infrastructure. I will be judged more on my engineering acumen than my business skills. This is a smaller org, but very visible and important.
Third choice. I move to an exciting, dynamic, Web 2.0, we-don't-know-what-we-are-doing-yet org. We have a chance to really make something big here. We could also end up making some kind of pie-in-the-sky, freaky Facebook/Twitter ripoff that no one uses. The engineers are fairly smart, though not as smart as my second choice. My managers are smart, though one is rather irritating-- people avoid working with him. This will be the nosiest and most frustrating org, but the opportunity could be the greatest.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
C2 is in town for the week. He is taking his earnings from Iraq and buying properties. He's bought a property on the Hood Canal and he is looking at condo's on Capital Hill. Good for him.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
RO is trying to talk to Matt about his shopping and to encourage him to save a little for emergencies.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
But there are also upsides. Someone different to talk to. More people to share the cooking and cleaning. Matt can be a great cook and has been making fresh bread most every day.
I sit all day at work, so I like to take a good walk in the evening. RO stands all day, so he likes to relax all evening. I usually end up walking alone. Now that Matt and Pat have moved in, Matt likes to walk with me after dinner, and Pat likes to chat wtih RO. Perfect.
Monday, January 18, 2010
The stops on the train are interesting, but not in a good way. For some reason two thirds of the stops are to Seattle's poorer neighborhoods. If I picked a stop at random and told a friend I went there, he'd probably make a joke about buying drugs.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Matt is having income problems. He's an independant contractor with few customers. Customers who reguarly don't pay him on time. About every 2nd month he can't pay his rent on time because he's flat broke.
Pat doesn't have a work visa and is living on savings.
They regularly tell us how they are cutting back on expenses to save money. Yesterday they bought a big flat screen TV. They say the will eat at home more to save money. Starbucks is just down the road and our espresso machine is too old and manual for them.
This ends badly for someone. I hope it's not me.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Maybe dating is an understatment. Matt has been seeing Pat for a couple of months. Pat just moved into our house.
There are some logistics problems with their relationship. Pat is not an citizen. He is here on a travel visa which runs out in three months.
I guess Matt is not afraid of dramatic relationships.
We are charging them a little lower rent with the intent that Pat will clean.
Pat is a very nice guy. I hope it all works out for them.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
An old friend of theirs was over. I don't know if friend is the right word. They met this guy 20 years ago, lost touch, and then recently re-met. The guy only briefly mentioned why they lost touch for 20 years-- he spent three years in prision and did a lot of drugs.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Is this what's in store for me my 40's? Slowly I'll become more minimalist but the few possessions that I own will be expensive.
RO says I should have realized that I was all grown up at least five years ago.